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Detecting Leaks

If your water bill suddenly increases, but you haven't changed the way you use water, chances are you have a leak within your property. Leaks can waste several or even hundreds of gallons a day, so it's good preventive maintenance to check for leaks within your property once or twice a year.

Common residential leaks include:

  • Your toilet. It is not uncommon to lose more than 100 gallons a week to a toilet leak. You can check for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank, then watch for a few minutes. If the color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak that needs to be repaired.
  • Dishwashers and clothes washer. Look for drips or stains underneath or behind these appliances.
  • Indoor and outdoor faucets. Replace worn gaskets and washers.
  • Sprinkler systems. Check for damaged sprinkler system heads and system leaks.

Leak detection kits are available by calling the American Water Customer Service Center at 1-800-678-6301 or click here.

Free Water Conservation Audits

Cal Am’s Water Wise House Call program can assist those customers with identifying any potential leaks. and give advice on improving water efficiency at home. Click the link to learn more about the Water-Wise House Calls Program and set up an appointment or call: (831) 646-3205.

Leak Calculator

Use the American Water Works Association’s Water Wiser Drip Calculator to measure and estimate water wasted due to leaks.